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The decision, whether a mobile or stand alone dust collection solution or a system connected to piping and several suction or extraction points is better, depends on many factors such as:
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Mobile and stand alone Extractors, Dedusters and Vacuums are flexible to use and move to new locations.
The performance efficiency is high due to only one or two suction hoses connected with, in general, a max distance to the dust source of 3 to 15 m. In on/off operation mode the energy consumption is also quite low.
Therefore the air volume losses are little and with a relatively small motor and suction drive, the efficiency is still very high. Another advantage is the better filter efficiency: Relatively small filters as in mobile vacuums or dust extractors can be cleaned manually or automatically quite efficiently. This is especially important for all types of find and ultra fine dust.
The disadvantage is the smaller dust collection capacity, which however can be increased to up to 200 l by using pre-separators or silo vacuums.
Central systems require a larger suction drives, often running continuously, ( which makes the energy consumption high ) and filter areas but can be connected to more suction points by hoses and pipeline. It is, however, very important that the entire system is designed very well.
For example suction ports cannot be added to an existing piping system and the pipe sections must follow special vacuum system design rules.
Airspeed inside the piping must be maintained at minimum 25 m/sec, which can only be achieved by an expertly designed and build piping system, which was correctly calculated in relation to the suction drive performance.
One has to plan that despite good initial piping engineering, one will have to eventually dismantle pipe sections and clean them. Service and filter change on mobile vacuums also less difficult and time consuming.
Deposits will form inside the piping and with every layer of dust inside the piping the resistance, the suction air has to overcome, will become more and more, which can eventually result in a significant , sometime total, loss of the initially designed performance, rendering the entire installation in the worst case to become useless.
Filter cleaning becomes more difficult the larger the filter housing is and changing large filters can be a hazardous and time consuming task. Central vacuum systems need to be serviced regularly which includes filter changes and the inspection and cleaning of the pipelines.
We at RUWAC are advocates of a middle way between huge central dust collectors and mobile units. These are the so called decentralized solutions with max 30 m of piping and between 3 and 10 suction points connected. Of course there are exceptions, where one has to go bigger.
However, often a combination between decentralized systems for the main dust-load and mobile vacuums to reach far away corners of the plant is a good way to benefit from the advantages of both central and mobile dust collection machines.